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hutchpe

Getting a friend into PC gaming on a VERY low budget

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Hi all

 

So here's my problem. I have a friend who is interested in getting a gaming pc but won't pay anything over $450 for the whole thing including monitor and peripherals and it's up to me to source parts and put the thing together. At the moment it looks like I'm going to be getting most parts second hand off OCAU. Below is roughly what I wan't to get.

 

CPU - Any Core 2 Quad

Motherboard - Any half decent 775 board that can handle overclocking

RAM - Anything that's at least 4gig

GPU - Need suggestions

PSU - Anything I can get second hand that's decent

HDD - Any second hand SATA 500gb drive

Case - Bitfenix Merc Alpha or any half decent second hand case I can get

Monitor - Anything around 22" but may not need one

Keyboard/Mouse - Some cheap Logitech combo

 

So my questions are will the above be able to play any <a class="ktg6us78hf8vdu7" href="#">games</a> he throws at it even if it's on relatively low graphics settings, how long would you expect it to be decent enough for gaming for and could I get anything newer for a similar price with the same level of performance or greater?

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Go AMD if you want to get something a bit cheaper. Gaming wise you aren't losing out THAT much, and then you can invest a bit more money in a decent GPU (don't know my NVIDIA cards, but a starting point I think should be perhaps a 4870 or a 5870.

 

HD only needs to be around the 100gb mark, if he is only starting out on pc games you don't want a huge investment on games he won't play. Pick a couple A list titles suited to him and go from there.

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any phenom II x4 or x6 would be ok probably a little better than a q6600 without overclocking

 

for the gpu look for a gtx480 at ~$150 seconhand they have a huge amount of power but the psu will need to be up to the task as they are a hot monster of a card you may need to find something a bit cheaper though so everything makes it within the budget which wont be easy unless you can get a lot of them at once as the post on all those items secondhand may soon add up

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For a cheaper GPU, you could grab a 4870X2 off OCAU for about $60. They're getting pretty long in the tooth these days, but for $60 you still get plenty of value. I was running BF3 on it at pretty low settings with an E8400, and that was the first game I'd really had to turn settings down to play.

 

As with GTX480 it'll need a pretty beefy PSU still.

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true a 4870x2 can get near gtx480 performance levels in some games where crossfire is working really well so at $60 its a great buy

biggest down side is no dx11

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Go second hand.

There are companies that sell second hand office computers. Get a C2Q or C2D, make sure it can fit a graphics card in the case.

Spend like $150 on the PC, get a budget or second hand GPU for another $150, and then try and fit monitor and the rest into the last $150 of the budget?

 

I got a nice lenovo small form factor a few months ago for like $110. It's a Core2duo at like 2.6 Ghz.

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Thanks so much for the advice everyone.

 

So now it looks like I'l be after an AMD Phenom chip and a Radeon 4870x2 or a GTX 480. I figure that if I end up getting the 4870x2 and he really gets into it I can upgrade the GPU later.

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